- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A complaint against a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who criticized the agency for its investigation into the drowning death of an Iowa man has been dismissed and the trooper has resigned, his attorney said.

Former special prosecutor Amanda Grellner said Friday she has withdrawn her complaint against Sgt. Randy Henry. The specifics of the complaint were never made public and Grellner did not elaborate on why it was dropped, The Kansas City Star reported (https://bit.ly/1NIgvsF ).

“I do not wish to be involved in any further proceedings between Sergeant Henry and the Patrol,” she said in a written statement issued by her attorney.

Henry resigned from the patrol later Friday and wants “nothing else to do with this organization,” according to his attorney, Chet Pleban. Henry had been eligible to retire for more than three years.

Henry had complained about the patrol’s investigation into the May 2014 drowning of Brandon Ellingson, 20, of suburban Des Moines, Iowa. Ellingson was handcuffed when he fell from a patrol boat into the Lake of the Ozarks and drowned. Henry also questioned the training officers who had previously worked on the road received before being assigned to water duties.

After Grellner filed her grievance, the patrol also filed two grievances. It wasn’t clear Friday what would happen with those complaints but the patrol said in a statement that Henry’s appeal hearing, scheduled for Monday, had been canceled.

After declining to file charges in Ellingson’s death last year, Grellner decided earlier this year to take another look at the investigation, saying she had new information. She filed her complaint against Henry in March after recusing herself from the investigation into Ellingson’s death.

Henry and his attorney suggested Grellner’s involvement in the case could be a conflict of interest. About a year before Ellingson’s death, the patrol was asked to help investigate a sexual assault of a teenage girl in which Grellner’s son was initially questioned. The patrol later cleared her son.

Pleban said Friday that he had no evidence Grellner had tried to influence the rape investigation or that the case had influenced any decisions she made in the Ellingson drowning.

Henry was transferred to Truman Lake from the Lake of the Ozarks and faced demotion to corporal, although that didn’t take effect pending his appeal.

Ellingson drowned on May 31, 2014, while in the custody of a veteran road trooper. The life vest wasn’t properly secured and came off shortly after Ellingson tumbled into the water while being transported for a breath test. The trooper jumped into the water but couldn’t save Ellingson.

Jurors said the death was accidental and Grellner said she would not file criminal charges against the trooper. Ellingson’s parents and sister have filed a civil lawsuit.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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